Menstrual cups are an eco-friendly and economical alternative to tampons and sanitary pads. They’re also reusable, so you don’t have to worry about having to purchase tampons every month. Menstrual cups are also easy to use, comfortable, and hygienic.
However, many people wonder if they can sleep while using a menstrual cup. If you’ve been curious about this, then the answer is yes! Here are some things you need to know to get started with your new menstrual cup.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a small silicone disc that is inserted into the vagina. It sits over your cervix and doesn’t touch the opening of your vagina. Your body keeps it sterile, so you won’t get infected. This is a good thing because your immune system is much stronger when you are menstruating, and anything that can infect your body will.
Most menstrual cups come in three sizes. These sizes are based on the size of your vaginal opening, or cervix. Most people say that the first cup that fits just right is the best one, so start with that size first.
You’ll need to switch to a larger one after a few months, since you can lose a little bit of weight and you’re likely to gain some while menstruating. Why do you need to switch to a larger cup?
Can you sleep with it?
Yes, you can. When used as designed, menstrual cups can be left in place overnight without discomfort. While some menstrual cup designs might feel like they might leak, they aren’t necessarily a health risk, as their use is safe and there isn’t a blood-contaminated threat.
Depending on the menstrual cup, menstrual fluid could flow freely and in a steady stream while inside the cup. Alternatively, this fluid might trickle when the cup is removed from the vagina. Depending on the amount of liquid inside the cup, you may not even feel it while using the cup.
If you choose to sleep with the cup, remember that some people may experience leakage if the flow isn’t controlled. For this reason, you may want to use pads or an extra pair of underwear to absorb the fluid as needed.
Is it safe to sleep with it?
As long as you’re not sleeping in direct contact with the cup, sleeping with a menstrual cup can be safe. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re not doing any unnecessary rubbing against it or pushing it into your rectum.
If you’re worried that you’re contaminating your vagina or rectum, you can be safe with this option as well. Just take it out before you sleep.
What can I do with the cup?
It’s great for everything, from vaginal douching to sex. You can also put the cup in your mouth to drink water or take a swig of beer or wine. The cup will slide right out of your mouth, so you won’t have any problems swallowing it.
You can also use it to apply lubricant. As mentioned above, you can also sleep with the cup in your vagina to “wash out” your uterus. Is it easy to clean?
What if I’m asleep when I have my period?
While menstruating, your cervix and uterus are more open and vulnerable to infection. And sleeping with a menstrual cup in place makes it more likely you’ll become infected. Most menstrual cups have a cut-off time for intercourse of 7 to 10 days after your period, but some contain batteries, so it might be a good idea to put them in first thing in the morning and then take them out at night.
Should I put my menstrual cup away every time I have sex?
While not advisable, you can leave your menstrual cup out of your underwear and/or hand if you want. Some people sleep in their underwear, so leaving your menstrual cup in your underwear is an option if you’re not planning on having intercourse. Should I put my menstrual cup in a cloth bag every time I have sex?
How to use a menstrual cup
One way to use a menstrual cup is to insert it before you go to bed. The cup works like a contraceptive implant and provides blood to the uterus during your period. You don’t need to worry about the menstrual cup falling out, because it stays in place until you empty it in the morning.
Insertion takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on how wide your vagina is. Another way to use a menstrual cup is to empty it overnight into the toilet. This way, it’s washed and ready for reuse the following day.
Empty your menstrual cup, and clean your hands with soap and water. You should then put your cup back in your vagina and put a new tampon inside. When you’re done, tie the cap of the cup to the tampon with an elastic string, or use an egg to cover the cup.
Just remember: whether you use a menstrual cup or tampons, it’s important to be 100% hygienic when taking care of your period. Have any questions about periods, tampons, or menstruation?